A Letter From Bill McCracken
Dear Friends of the Millstein Center,
For decades, Ira has led the conversation on corporate governance and what we, as the business community, need to do to respond to crises-of-the-day and to advance thriving corporations and capital markets. To many these days, the world looks as treacherous as ever. Many are still recovering from the 2008 Financial Crisis and recent news from around the world has us all on edge. On top of that, myriad forces, many new to us, are impacting our organizations as never before. From major market dislocations to geopolitical and economic uncertainty, to hedge fund activists, proxy advisors, and new voices in the governance debate, it can feel to many that nothing is certain and disruptive change is the state of play in business and in our capital markets. To be sure, significant changes are taking place.
At the Center, we think we may be observing something more. The question isn’t if corporate governance is changing - corporate governance is always evolving. A more accurate description, we think, is that the current environment has moved from a transition point in our capital markets to an inflection point: a point of significant change defined by a new emerging set of realities. Building on the fundamental governing law of fiduciary duty and the primacy of the business judgment rule, we are addressing this environment and helping to ensure that we, collectively as a business community, understand these changes, position boards for greater participation in processes that sustain the company by playing an engaged role in strategy development and long term value creation, and manage through the inflection to a productive outcome for the capital markets, our public corporations, and, as Ira is right to remind us, who this is all really for – each of us. You can learn more about our work on our About the Center page.
I spoke more about this current environment in my opening remarks at the 2015 Millstein Governance Forum. Please feel free to watch them here along with all of the sessions. It was an engaging day bringing together a unique set of perspectives in a way that only Columbia could.
I’m honored and delighted to have this opportunity to build on and continue my work with Ira, who remains actively engaged in the Center's work as Founding Chair, the team at Columbia Law School, and to work with each of you. Let's keep in touch.
|William E. McCracken|
Millstein Center Advisory Board